Monday, June 6, 2016

RaHN meeting: Sylvia Pankhurst and the East London Suffragettes and Ireland

Next meeting of the Radical History Network of North East London

Wednesday 29th June 7.30 p.m., Wood Green Social Club

In October 1912 Sylvia Pankhurst climbed onto a wooden platform outside an old baker's shop on Bow Road, and painted the words 'VOTES FOR WOMEN' in golden letters above the door. What began as a simple recruitment drive for the Women’s Social and Political Union soon sparked a rebellion in the suffragette ranks, and launched a mass movement for equality in the East End.

Our meeting will look at Sylvia Pankhurst’s life and legacy – both in London and internationally.


Sarah Jackson is co-author of 'Voices From History: East London Suffragettes' and co-founder of the East End Women's Museum -

Geoffrey Bell is the author of the recently published 'Hesitant Comrades - The Irish Revolution and the British Labour Movement', described by one reviewer as “a fine example of politically committed scholarship”, and by another as “this fascinating book”. Bell has also written a recent article in 'History Ireland' on Sylvia Pankhurst and Ireland's 1916 Rising and its aftermath.

Plus discussion:

  • How does this history connect with campaigns today?
  • If everyone loves the suffragettes, why are women still struggling for equality?
Wednesday 29th June 7.30 pm
Wood Green Social Club, 3 Stuart Crescent, London N22 5NJ
(Off the High Rd, near Wood Green tube and buses 329/121/141)

Free to attend, all welcome.

Previously on this blog:
The variously radical life of Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst
Radical History film show: Sylvia Pankhurst. 23rd April 2013
Meeting: Sylvia Pankhurst - Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire
And report of our last meeting (9th March 2016):

Spirit of Combination Acts lives on in the Strand...

UPDATE: CAMPAIGN SUCCEEDS (sometimes they do.)
Latest from Mary Quaile Club:

" Unite activist Robert Czegeley spoke at our book launch of Dare to Be Free on 4 June. He had just been sacked from his job as a waiter at a very expensive hotel in London. We helped with his campaign, sending  emails to the company managers etc.
We are delighted that following pressure from the union, he has been reinstated in his job.
You can read more details here: "

Meeting report and appeal from the Mary Quaile Club.

We had a very successful launch of our new publication Dare to Be free: women  in trade  unions, past and present on Saturday at which we joined by Sarah Woolley from the Bakers Union,  and Khadija, Ana and Robert from the Unite Hotel Workers branch. 3MT was full. You can read a full report and see some pictures here. It also includes  a link on how to buy the book
However Robert has been sacked from the hotel where he works in London, the ME Hotel on the Strand,  which is a luxury hotel owned by the Melia Group. Rooms start  at £325 per night.  They own many  similar hotels  around the world. Clearly he has been sacked for union organising which is a legal activity in theory,  but in practice there is little to stop employers behaving in this way.
However we can put pressure on the hotel chain by writing in support of Robert,  asking the company  to reinstate him.
Pleae email the CEO Gabriel Escarrer and copy the email  to their press ofice, If you can  write in Spanish, so much the  better, but English will be fine.
The other thing you can do is urge friends and relatives not to stay in the Innside Hotel, First Street in Manchester which is part of the Melia group

There is more information about  Robert  here.

UPDATE: He was featured in the Evening Standard this week. 
You can, if you wish, email the Head of HR  at  Melia, which owns the hotel,  Claudine Massey. 

 If you do so, please copy it to their press office as well:
You can also tweet her  @claudine_1973
and the company Me by Melia @MEbyMelia


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Listings Update, June and after

Advance Notice, separate post follows:

Sylvia Pankhurst addressing a crowd at Bow, London
RaHN meeting on Sylvia Pankhurst and the suffragettes

Wednesday 29th June 7.30 p.m., Wood Green Social Club


Event in the Manchester Histories Festival Saturday 4th June
Mary Quaile Club will be launching our second publication Dare to Be free: women  in trade  unions, past and present. The event will begin at 2pm in Three Minute Theatre, Afflecks Arcade, 35-37 Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JG. The event is free and is part of the Manchester Histories Festival.
Bernadette Hyland, co-author, will be speaking about the publication and we are delighted that Khadija, Robert and Ana from the Hotel Workers branch of Unite will be joining us for the launch to share  their experiences.
As part of the launch at 3.30pm there will the final performance of Dare to Be Free, a play about Mary Quaile and cafe workers, commissioned by us and written by Jane McNulty. It is directed by Bill Hopkinson and performed by  Rebecca Brown, Catherine Kinsella, Rachel Priest and Catarina Soromenho. It last 30 minutes.
If you cannot attend the launch, but would still like to buy this publication, you can do so through News from Nowhere bookshop

[New message] We will be running a Mary Quaile Club stall at the Manchester Histories Festival Celebration Day in Manchester Town Hall at this Saturday [June 11]. The day starts at 10.30 am. We will be selling our two publications: Northern ReSisters: conversations with radical women  and Dare to Be Free: women  in trade unions, past and present. Please come and say hello  if you are going to this event. 

As well as stalls there are a number of talks, including a panel on the homeless with a variety of speakers but nobody who was actually homeless.  We protested to Manchester Histories about this and provided  them with a contact so we will see if this person appears on the panel...
And from WCML:
Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent,
Salford, M5 4WX

Manchester Histories Festival Celebration Day
If you are at the Celebration Day at Manchester Town Hall this Saturday come and say hello at the Library stand!
We are very pleased to be part of Manchester Histories Festival’s Manchester Celebration Day 2016 which is taking place across Manchester Town Hall and Central Library from 10:30 to 4pm on Saturday 11 June. Bringing together nearly 100 histories and heritage organisations from across Greater Manchester, the Manchester Celebration Day includes exhibition stands, games, heritage bus rides, craft activities, film screenings, performances and talks. More at
Memories of SolidarityA Manchester Histories Festival event will be hosted at the Library on Friday 10 June at 2pm.  'Memories of solidarity' brings together some of the recent history of solidarity in the Manchester area using people's recollections, photos, posters and other items.  Feel free to bring your own story or just come and listen.

More details at website, or via or 07972 928902.
Love on the Dole
From 5 to 9 July at 7pm, starting at Islington Mill, Salford Community Theatre will be performing an adaptation of Walter Greenwood's novel Love on the Dole.

Following the story of Harry Hardcastle, a young engineer apprentice at Marlowe’s Engineering Plant, Love on the Dole captures the joys and hardships of working people’s lives in 1930s Salford.

A new adaptation written for a community cast, this production has brought together over twenty local people to create a promenade performance. Using some of the actual locations described in the novel, the production aims to bring Greenwood’s characters to life in Salford today, drawing parallels between the poverty described in the book and the effects of austerity and cuts in 2016.

Tickets (£11/£8 concessions, both plus booking fee) are available online at, or from Creation Cafe in The Angel Centre on Chapel Street every Thursday 11-2pm and Friday 12-3pm. NB Audience members will be required to stand during the first act and some of act 2.
Islington Mill, 1 St James Street, Salford M3 5HW.

Correction re Rochdale WEA talk. In our last e-bulletin we listed a talk due to take place on 25 June at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum We now understand that the date on the leaflet was incorrect and that the talk has already taken place.  Sorry about that - if you picked up one of the leaflets here at the Library, please discard it...

As reported in our last e-bulletin, the Living History performance No Power on Earth, originally commissioned by the Library and again featuring Joel Parry as Salford conscientious objector James Hudson, will be staged on Sunday 12 June at 1pm at the Friends Meeting House in Manchester.   
Democracy Drop In
"Democracy may be a right, but too often in the world it is a privilege. On Saturday 2 July between 11am and 2pm, as part of the Library's joint project with the People’s History Museum Voting for Change, you can come and see some of the exciting newly acquired objects that help both organisations better tell the history of the fight for the vote. These include an archive of election material from North Lincolnshire - including expenses spent on beer and breakfasts for voters - and an 1819 cartoon arguing it would be ‘the scum’ who would rise to the top if more people got the vote." 
This is a drop in session with no need to book and a chance to get up close to these historic objects. A member of staff will be on hand with tea and discussion – neither will be compulsory.
Patron: Peter Hennessy
Founded in 1996, the club challenges the commercialisation & isolation of modern life. 
We meet monthly on Saturday evening.
‘Fellowship is life & the lack of fellowship is death’.  William Morris
Saturday 9th July 2016

 NOWHERE …………….

Confessions of a Blue Badge Guide

Speaker: Brian Hicks

 "When I originally qualified as a professional Blue Badge Guide some 20 years ago, I had no idea where it might take me. Educationally I have become a different person. I always had a fascination with history and now have an excuse to enjoy learning about the subject.  I think it was George Bernard Shaw who said, ‘You should make your obsession your profession’. This I have done. So come and learn how you could become a guide and some of the more quirky historical facts I have accumulated. Find out the truth about Henry VIII, about Elizabeth 1st’s bad temper, how the present Queen goes to the theatre incognito and why the Bishop of Durham’s anus is on display in London!’ Brian lives in Walthamstow. His walks in London are fascinating, informative and funny."

Venue Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone E11 4LJ 
Times 7.30pm: Buffet (bring something if you can). 8-10pm Talk & discussion

Travel  Stratford stations & 257 bus  Leytonstone tube (exit left) & 257/W14 bus. Overground: Leytonstone High Rd, turn right & short walk

Access  Disabled access, car park, bikes can be brought in, quiet children welcome. You can phone to confirm the talk will be as shown.
Meetings open to all - just turn up.    Enquiries  0208 555 5248  / 0-208 520 7370                              
Free entry / raffle / voluntary donations

Radical women, 1880-1914 - public conference
On Saturday 17 September 10am to 4pm the Library is organising a conference at the Old Fire Station, Crescent, Salford (courtesy of the University of Salford) with keynote speakers Sheila Rowbotham and Karen Hunt.
It will celebrate the battles and achievements of working class women in the drive to achieve a fairer and more balanced society.  Public-facing proposals for 30-minute papers on any aspect of female radicalism have been invited, and details will be announced shortly at

Conference fee: £20 waged; £7.50 unwaged (including lunch).  Places must be reserved and paid for in advance. Please email Royston Futter,


Seminar - Kevin Davey on J B Priestley

New Anarchist Research Group

Saturday, 25 June 2016 2.00pm to 4.30 pm at the MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH - The nearest tube station is St Paul's, but there are others close by.

J B PRIESTLEY: A Good Companion in our times?
Kevin Davey
"Author, broadcaster and cofounder of CND, J B Priestley was a loose cannon on the left for most of the twentieth century. Are his ethical socialism, antipathy to the big state and focus on community still relevant today?
"Kevin Davey is a libertarian socialist, formerly editor of New Times and chair of the Socialist Society, author of English Imaginaries (1999) and co-author with Paul Anderson of Moscow Gold: the Soviet Union and the British Left (2014)."


Marx Memorial Library

 Talk - Saturday 4th June
London Recruits - The Secret War Against Apartheid.
6pm at Marx Memorial Library. 37A Clerkenwell Green. London. EC1R 0DU. 
The true story of the young people from London who went to South Africa to fight apartheid. Speakers include Ronnie Kasrils (former Minister for Intelligence Services), and other recruits. Tickets £3.

Sunday 12th June (n.b. not Saturday as previously stated here)
 Book Sale at the Marx Memorial Library
11am to 3pm at Marx Memorial Library. 37A Clerkenwell Green. London. EC1R 0DU. 
Join us for our quarterly second handbook sale featuring books and pamphlets on a range of radical history subjects including the history of marxism and the trade union movement - come and grab yourself a bargain
"... as there will be lots of radical history bargains!"

[From CND:] Appeal for support at Burghfield protest:

CND sends congratulations to Trident Ploughshares and all those who have participated in the very successful blockade of AWE Burghfield this week. This is the site near Aldermaston which works on the development and production of Britain's nuclear warheads. The protest aims to raise awareness of the forthcoming parliamentary decision on replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system.
Campaigners have blockaded one of the gates, day and night, since Monday, stopping all traffic to and from the site in the process. During the day the blockaders have been joined by many supporters from across the country and internationally. But the same group of people have been staying overnight to maintain the blockade. Now they need to leave! More people are needed at the site to take their place. Are you free this weekend and can get to AWE Burghfield, West Berkshire? If so please contact Angie on 07456 588943 or email Please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested in joining the protesters.
Click here for more information on the blockade, whichcontinues throughout the month
.Click here to see The Guardian's coverage of the protest.

Mad Hatters’ Tea Party (2)
On June 20th, a group meeting at the CND Offices organised a Mad Hatters’ Tea-Party on June 20th as part of the Burghfield Month of Direct Action organised by Trident Ploughshares.
21 people took part in the Party and it was so enjoyable and such a success that we decided to hold another Mad Hatters’ Tea Party in support of CND’s anti-Trident lobby on July 13th (noon-6 p.m.)
The party will be held in Parliament Square, on the side facing the House of Commons.
It will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and have a table and chairs, with members of the group dressed in costumes representing the characters in Alice in Wonderland , naturally having tea, with a  child’s tea-set, a large teapot, balloons, music and dancing and more seriously holding up banners such as “Mad to Spend £205 billion on Trident” and “We’re Mad Hatters; they’re Mad Bombers”.

Everybody is invited, especially children and those taking part in the lobby.  If you’d like to dress up as an Alice in Wonderland character or bring suitable items to the party that would be appreciated, but not obligatory.  Either come for 2 hours or look in on us before or after you attend the lobby – there is now a lighted crossing from the Parliament side across to the side of the centre of the Square where we will be.  If you want to leaflet passers-by on the Parliament side we will have Stop Trident lobby cards to give you.

Saturday 6th August London CND Hiroshima Day Commemoration

12 noon  Tavistock Square Gardens, London
Join London CND to remember the victims of atomic bombing and wars everywhere. Joint comperes Kate Hudson (CND) and Tim Wallis (Quaker Peace and Disarmament) will preside over a ceremony which includes faith speakers, celebrities, performers, entertainers. Bring a picnic for a joint lunch afterwards!

For more information, contact London Region CND ( / 020 7607 2302)

History and the Housing Crisis
A discussion event

Tuesday 14 June 2016, 6.30-8.30pm, London EC1
The event is free to attend but booking via our Eventbrite page is essential.
In this event we will ask what the historical roots to the current housing crisis are, what historical solutions have been posed, and how we might tell the history of housing politics...
The panel members will each approach the topic from a different vantage point based on their experiences and will speak for 15-20 minutes each. After which, the discussion will be opened up for the next hour or so to include the floor.

Date: Tuesday 14 June 2016
Time: 6.30pm-8.30pm
Venue: Marx Memorial Library, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DU
This event is supported by the Raphael Samuel History Centre.


Walter Rodney - Socialist (Activist) Historian

Socialist History Society Public Meeting

Walter Rodney, the prominent Guyanese historian, political activist and scholar, was assassinated in Guyana on 13th June 1980. At long last, the report of the Commission of Inquiry into his murder has been handed to the Parliament of Guyana. It is therefore a good time to revisit the legacy of the author of A History of the Guyanese Working People and How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. 
Rodney was also founder of the Working People's Alliance, a political movement in Guyana dedicated to social transformation and unity of the Indian and African workers.  He made a great contribution to revolutionary thought by establishing new thinking on questions of fighting racism and racial domination, the humanisation of the planet and the self emancipation of working peoples. He was murdered for uniting this political theory with practical, militant activity.

Speakers: Cecil Gutzmore & Leland De Cambra


Thursday, 23 June 2016 from 19:00 to 20:30 (BST) - Add to Calendar


MARX MEMORIAL LIBRARY - 37a Clerkenwell Green nearest tube Farringdon, EC1R 0DU - View Map

 To book a ticket see the eventbrite page here


Independent Working Class Education Network 
Day School on 4th June

Getting the Record Straight and Winning Again
Saturday 4th June 10.00 - 2.30
London UnitetheUnion Offices
128 Theobalds Rd., (Holborn Tube)
Another IWCE Day School

Mineworkers Around the World; taking on the giants - and winning
Friday 8th July. 11.00 - 4.00 Durham Miners' Hall, Redhills.

This Independent Working Class Education Day School will give us all an insight into the way the Global Multinationals operate, and what we can do to stop their nonsense.

Elizabeth Cotton will lead the discussion; she co-authored the book "Global Unions Global Business" which is described as “the essential guide to international trade unionism" There will be other speakers. 
(The Durham Miners Gala/Big Meeting is the next day.) 
£5.00 includes lunch, pay on the day.

(UPDATE:) Are you looking forward to this year's Big Meeting? - thousands of us
will march through Durham on Saturday 9th July.

THE DAY BEFORE, join IWCE at the NUM's Redhill Centre for a special session
on "Mineworkers the world over and the power of education."
Friday 8th July, 11.00 - 4.00. Redhill, Durham.

We'll start at 11.00, with lunch provided, and feature Elizabeth Cotton,
who co-authored book "Global Unions Global Business" and Hilary Cave,
who was NUM Education Officer during the 1984/85 Miners' Strike, along with Colin Waugh and Keith Venables and lots of discussion.

We'll look at education and how it can help build the struggle.

£5.00 includes lunch, pay on the day.

It's important to book a place: email

Wakefield Socialist History Group 

SATURDAY 25 JUNE, 1pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 


"The Yorkshire Rebellion of 1820 was planned by working class radicals.  It occurred just as those arrested during the Peterloo Massacre and at other reform demonstrations in 1819 were coming to trial.
The desire for universal suffrage, annual elections and an end to the Corn Laws were the main motivation."

Come along and hear Shaun Cohen from the Ford Maguire Society speak about this important event.
The chair will be Adrian Cruden from the Green Party.

The meeting -organised by Wakefield Socialist History Group- is on Saturday 25 June, 1pm at the Red Shed (Wakefield Labour Club), Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.
Admission is free, there is a free light buffet plus there is a bar with excellent real ale.
On Saturday 16 July at 12 noon, the Wakefield Socialist History Group are holding a meeting at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 on "Tolpuddle..and the fight for trade union rights today."  Admission is free; all welcome.  


June is to be a “month of direct action” against Trident at Burghfield near Reading, where Trident nuclear warheads are assembled. 

Organised by the Trident Ploughshares campaign



Sun 5 June
The Harlem Renaissance, that great rebirth of African American arts in the 20s, threw up such household names as Langston Hughes and Marcus Garvey. But did you know one of the stars of this great cultural movement is buried here in Stoke Newington, in Abney Park Cemetery?
The life of Afro-Caribbean author Eric Walrond is an epic story in itself, full of triumph, tragedy and mystery. How did this prodigious journalist, Guggenheim fellow, and “the most promising literary talent of the Harlem Renaissance” just disappear, along with his literary masterpiece? 
Find out – and rediscover his remarkable work – on this day of special events. Part of the Stoke Newington Literary Festival.
11am-12pm Walrond's legacy, £5 Book here
James Davis, talks to Colin Grant (Negro With a Hat, Bageye at The Wheel), Diane Abbott MP and Robin Travis (Prisoner to the Streets) about Walrond’s life: his role in the Harlem Renaissance, his relationship with Marcus Garvey and the factors that led to his until-now relative anonymity.
Abney Hall, 73A Stoke Newington Church St 
12.30-1pm Graveside readings, Free
Featuring Hackney MP Diane Abbott
Abney Park, meet at Church St entrance
2-4pm Walrond's life and work revealed, Free
Talks by:
James Davis, author Eric Walrond A Life in the Harlem Renaissance and the Transatlantic Caribbean
Dr Mike Niblett, assistant professor in Modern World Literature in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
Bill Schwarz, professor of postcolonial literature, Queen Mary University of London
Abney Park classroom, Stoke Newington High St entrance 

Because of the Eric Walrond events on 5 June, the regular monthly tour of Abney Park will be moved to Sunday 12 June, 2pm. See 
here for more details.


Ciaran Walsh reading ‘Red Dagger’
Saturday 4th June, 4pm 
Free Entry, downstairs in the Vaults

*Please note this event is being held downstairs in our Vaults, and is only accessible via a staircase.
‘Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence’ with Thandisizwe Chimurenga 
Wednesday 8th June, 7pmEntry £3, redeemable against any purchase
BOOK EVENT ‘Refugees on Lesbos: one volunteer's story" 
with Bev Jackson 
Wednesday 15th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
BOOK EVENT ‘Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics’
with Richard Seymour  

Saturday 18th June, 6.30pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
‘Cut Out: Living without Welfare’ and ‘Island Story’
with Jeremy Seabrook and J.D. TaylorWednesday 22nd June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

‘Looking for Trouble’ 
by Roque Dalton, and presented by John Green and Michal Boncza
Saturday 25th June, 4pm
Free Entry, downstairs in the Vaults


Radical Histories/Histories of Radicalism conference and festival, July 1-3 

See separate post.
Rural Radicalism Conference,
Saturday 4th June 2016  at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
Helmore 251 (first floor of the Helmore Building on East Road, Cambridge)
10:00am – 4.45pm
Organised by the  Labour History Research Unit at Anglia Ruskin University and the Victorian Studies Centre, at Saffron Walden Town Library
Programme on LSHG blog

London Socialist Historians: 

LSHG seminar - Keith Flett on The European Referendum in 1975 and the Left

Monday 6 June - LSHG seminar
Keith Flett on 'The European Referendum in 1975 and the Left'
Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St London WC1E 7HU (Room 304 - 5.30pm)
Marxism 2016 - Ideas for revolution runs from 30 June to 4 July in central London - it is roughly the same sort of time as the Radical Histories conference, but nonetheless includes highlights for radical and socialist historians as per link - from LSHG blog

Medact and Queen Mary University London (QMUL) are holding an event:
'Tracking Health Through Peace' on July 4.

Panel discussion and Q&A 
at the Morris Lecture Theatre in the Robin Brooke Centre, 
6-8 p.m.

"The discussion will be based around the latest report from the Global Peace Index, which is the world’s pre-eminent think tank measuring peace. There is a growing global inequality in peace, and low peace levels have a profound impact on health systems and health indicators.
Academics and campaigners working on peace and health will be tying in this latest research on peace levels with national health indicators. They will also discuss the development and importance of the movement for peace in the health community."

An event poster is also available: here
=======================  And looking ahead...
Barnsley Festival of Labour History - Friday 14th-Sunday 16th October 2016

The Civic, Hanson Street, Barnsley, S70 2HZ

Talks, discussion, music film - weekend ticket £10
Organised by Barnsley Trades Council to celebrate the 125th anniversary of our founding
Sponsored by the Society for the Study of Labour History

Highlights include

Friday 14 October - opening with gig by David Rovics (£5 entry) at The Old No. 7 Market Hill Barnsley

Saturday 15 October - Sunday 16 October

Speakers include Malcolm Chase, Dave Burland, Jill Liddington, Keith Laybourn, Louise Raw, John Newsinger, Donny Gluckstein, John Field, Anandi Ramamurthy, Ralph Darlington

On Saturday night there will be a screening of Ken Loach's film The Price of Coal.

Tickets / more info from Barnsley Trades Council c/o 33 Western Street, Barnsley, S70 2BT
Cheques payable to Barnsley Trades Council.  Tel 07594857960 for more info.